An ex-employee of a major homecare services provider has launched a legal action over the company’s practice of not paying carers for the time they spend travelling to and from care appointments.
Caroline Barlow, 56, worked as a home care worker for MiHomecare, which helps people who need support due to old age, illness, disability or infirmity.
She was employed between October 2014 to February 2015, travelling by car to eight appointments on average a day at various locations in the South West of England.
Leigh Day, which is acting for Barlow on her Employment Tribunal claim, suggested that many of the estimated 6,000 home care workers employed by the business might also have a claim.
According to the firm’s lawyers, the number of claims in the domiciliary care sector as a whole in the UK could run into thousands “costing care providers millions of pounds in unpaid wages for staff”.
Jasmine Patel, an employment lawyer at Leigh Day, said: “Without payment for her travel time, Ms Barlow was being paid less than the minimum wage per hour and we believe that this is an unlawful deduction of wages.
“Ms Barlow’s travel to and from appointments was a necessary part of her job and as such, she should have been paid for it.”
A spokeswoman for MiHomecare said: “We are investigating Caroline Barlow’s claim and if we do owe her any money we will pay it to her.”